Where do leopards live?
Leopards tend to favor rocky landscapes with dense bush and riverine forests, but they have also shown to be highly adaptable to many places in both warm and cold climates.
Tags: Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, DRC, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, East Africa, Southern Africa, West/Central Africa, Kazungula, Samburu, Cameroon, Leopard
View Africa | Habitat
What are leopards?
Leopards are members of the big cat family. These large carnivores are powerfully built with long bodies, relatively short legs, and a broad head. The leopard’s tawny coat is covered in dark, irregular spots called rosettes. The spots are circular in East African leopards but square in Southern African leopards.
Leopards are cunning, opportunistic hunters.
Their prey ranges from strong-scented carrion, fish, reptiles, and birds to mammals such as rodents, hares, warthogs, antelopes, and baboons.
They are strong climbers.
Pound for pound, the leopard is the strongest climber of all the big cats. It spends much of its time in trees as it stalks prey and even as it eats. Both lions and hyenas will take away a leopard’s kill if they can. To prevent this, the leopard will often store its kill high up in tree branches where it can feed in relative safety.
Leopards like their space.
They are predominantly nocturnal, solitary creatures. Each individual leopard has a home range that overlaps with its neighbors. The male leopard has a larger range, and a single male’s range will often overlap with the ranges of several females. Ranges are marked with urine and claw marks.
Female leopards set down roots when cubs are born.
The female leopard typically gives birth to a litter of two or three cubs. She abandons her nomadic lifestyle until the cubs are large enough to accompany her. She keeps them hidden for the first eight weeks and moves them from one location to the next until they are old enough to start learning to hunt. They get their first taste of meat at 6 or 7 weeks old and stop suckling after about 3 months of age. The cubs continue to live with their mothers for two years.